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Alternative & Indie - Released January 18, 2019 | Nettwerk Records

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Rock - Released May 16, 2006 | Nettwerk Records

Guster has quietly become a very good pop band -- and something more. Over the past decade, they've been slowly honing their craft, building their fan base, and making records that are unprepossessing but more and more compelling. Ganging Up on the Sun just might be their best yet. It certainly is their richest sounding record: the guitars are perfectly layered; the vocals warm and inviting, with sun-kissed harmonies on nearly every track; the songs filled with bubbling keyboards, twanging banjos, and all kinds of sonic embellishment. The group, who produced much of the album themselves, have taken all kinds of care with the sound of the record. Each track sounds handcrafted and labored over, yet retains a loose and mellow feel. That's not an easy trick to pull off, and they manage it without breaking a sweat. Of course, a lovely sound only gets your foot in the door. To get all the way in, you have to have some memorable and hummable songs, and Ganging Up on the Sun has a boatload of them. There are mellow strum-and-singalongs like the country-flavored "The Captain" and melancholy ballads like "Dear Valentine," along with hard-rocking tunes both cynical and angry ("The Beginning of the End") and just cynical ("The New Underground"). The album even makes room for the epic-length "Ruby Falls," which could teach Coldplay a thing or two about drama and dynamic tension. There is a gravity and depth to this record that may surprise even their devoted fans. Indeed at their best, which is where they operate throughout most of the album, Guster has the same qualities that the best Amer-indie bands do: total commitment emotionally and musically. A song like "C'mon" isn't powered by market considerations, niche marketing, or calculated constructs; it comes from the heart and it'll move you. A couple tracks on the album ("Satellite," "Hang On," "Manifest Destiny") might even break your heart in a sweet way -- in a way that you'll want to hit "repeat" as soon as the album is over. Any fan of low-key, perfectly constructed, hooky, and honest guitar pop would be wise to check out Guster if you haven't already. Check them out now if you wrote them off in the past as being lightweights or just some good-time local band that did well, because it turns out you were wrong. Ganging Up on the Sun is the work of a band who matters. ~ Tim Sendra
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2010 | Aware Entertainment Inc - Universal Republic Records

Guster have long suffered under the misinformation that pegs them as some kind of jock-beloved jam band. Just because the drummer once played with his hands instead of sticks and you’re loved by jocks, that’s not enough to trap you in the jam band ghetto. Really, Guster are a pop band, pure and simple. A tuneful, thoughtful and consistently good pop band whose albums are reliably full of sweetly tender lyrics, richly crafted performances, and an overall feeling of warmth and peacefulness. Not the kind of thing critics fawn over, but obviously something that resonates with a large number of people. The band’s sixth album, Easy Wonderful, is yet another solid album from the group and one that lives up to its title. The songs range from gentle strum-alongs to peppy rockers as usual, but they throw in a few tricks here and there to keep things humming along. Whether it’s the horn section on "What You Call Love," the percolating world beat/disco beat on "This Could All Be Yours," or the techno-pop synths on "Do What You Want," the bandmembers prove they aren’t afraid to experiment a little. Mostly, though, the album is first-class guitar pop played with just the right amount of emotion, restraint, and brains -- not to mention hooks, as “Do You Love Me” is the kind of perfectly arranged, completely catchy song that should send power pop enthusiasts running for the thesaurus to look for synonyms for hooks. (That those folks will probably never even hear the song is a failure of their imagination and possibly the band’s own marketing. Of course, who needs insider validation when you have mass appeal?) Above it all are the honeyed voices of Adam Gardner and Ryan Miller, trading leads and joining together in rich harmonies that could melt the hardest hipster hearts. The words they sing on Easy Wonderful are typically smart and insightful, often delving into questions of religion and faith to the point of confusion. While on the surface it may sound like Guster have turned in their Torahs for Bibles on a song like "Stay with Me Jesus," it’s really a satirical takedown of the belief that Jesus protects some people while leaving others to fend for themselves. It’s ideas like this that help distance Guster from the usual jam band fodder, especially when they are wrapped in tunes as instantly hooky and constantly listenable as those on Easy Wonderful. If you are looking for big-hearted, easy-to-swallow guitar pop, you could do much worse than Guster. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to do much better. ~ Tim Sendra
$16.49

Rock - Released June 24, 2003 | Nettwerk Records

If there were any justice, Guster's underappreciated masterpiece, Lost and Gone Forever, would have elevated the band to superstar status, and the follow-up, Keep It Together, would have been one of the most hyped releases of 2003. But while the Boston trio has built up one of the most formidable grassroots followings in music through constant touring, powerful live performances, and a level of interaction with its fans that rivals any band in the biz, Keep It Together has the goods to finally make Guster a household name. While their two previous releases flourished through an almost bipolar combination of dark rockers and upbeat pop melodies married to biting lyrics, Keep It Together takes a different path for the most part, focusing on even-keeled love songs. From the album's low-key opener, "Diane," to the sunny shuffle of "Ramona," Guster displays its formerly hidden well-adjusted side. Guest musician Joe Pisapia embellishes the group's already flawless harmonies on the immediately memorable "Careful," and contributes vocals and banjo to the rootsy "Jesus on the Radio," which he also co-wrote. Ben Kweller shows up on the album's official closer, the surprisingly reserved "I Hope Tomorrow Is Like Today." Fans of the band's quirkier moments aren't left behind either, with "Red Oyster Cult" featuring prog rock guitar, ELO harmonies, jingle bells, and a whistled solo worthy of the Scorpions. But there's no arguing that the high point of this album is the impossibly catchy "Amsterdam." Breaking all of Guster's self-made rules (as it does throughout the album) by adding bass and a drum kit to the mix, the band combines a radio-ready yet experimental production style with power chords, layers of vocals, and screaming slide guitar for three and a half minutes of the finest pop/rock you're ever likely to hear. Keep It Together may not feature the emotional dynamics or track-by-track genius of Lost and Gone Forever, but it has something that its predecessor didn't: an unabashed pop anthem that dares you to sit still. Whether the members of Guster do in fact become international rock superstars remains to be seen, but so long as they continue to make great albums like this one, their ever-expanding group of fans should be more than happy. ~ Mark Vanderhoff
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Rock - Released June 10, 2003 | Nettwerk Records

If there were any justice, Guster's underappreciated masterpiece, Lost and Gone Forever, would have elevated the band to superstar status, and the follow-up, Keep It Together, would have been one of the most hyped releases of 2003. But while the Boston trio has built up one of the most formidable grassroots followings in music through constant touring, powerful live performances, and a level of interaction with its fans that rivals any band in the biz, Keep It Together has the goods to finally make Guster a household name. While their two previous releases flourished through an almost bipolar combination of dark rockers and upbeat pop melodies married to biting lyrics, Keep It Together takes a different path for the most part, focusing on even-keeled love songs. From the album's low-key opener, "Diane," to the sunny shuffle of "Ramona," Guster displays its formerly hidden well-adjusted side. Guest musician Joe Pisapia embellishes the group's already flawless harmonies on the immediately memorable "Careful," and contributes vocals and banjo to the rootsy "Jesus on the Radio," which he also co-wrote. Ben Kweller shows up on the album's official closer, the surprisingly reserved "I Hope Tomorrow Is Like Today." Fans of the band's quirkier moments aren't left behind either, with "Red Oyster Cult" featuring prog rock guitar, ELO harmonies, jingle bells, and a whistled solo worthy of the Scorpions. But there's no arguing that the high point of this album is the impossibly catchy "Amsterdam." Breaking all of Guster's self-made rules (as it does throughout the album) by adding bass and a drum kit to the mix, the band combines a radio-ready yet experimental production style with power chords, layers of vocals, and screaming slide guitar for three and a half minutes of the finest pop/rock you're ever likely to hear. Keep It Together may not feature the emotional dynamics or track-by-track genius of Lost and Gone Forever, but it has something that its predecessor didn't: an unabashed pop anthem that dares you to sit still. Whether the members of Guster do in fact become international rock superstars remains to be seen, but so long as they continue to make great albums like this one, their ever-expanding group of fans should be more than happy. ~ Mark Vanderhoff
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Rock - Released September 16, 1999 | Nettwerk Records

Signing to a major-label doesn't really change Guster's outlook for their third album, Lost & Gone Forever. However, the switch to the big leagues has given the band the opportunity to hire a heavy-hitter producer, Steve Lillywhite, who performs a similar function here that he did with Dave Matthews. Lillywhite doesn't attempt to change Guster's jovial folk-pop, but he helps them focus and gives them a clear, vibrant sonic palette that makes Lost & Gone Forever sound inviting and intimate. That's a blessing, since it highlights their effortless melodic gifts, warm harmonies, and quirky arrangements. And, depending on your view, it may also be a bit of a curse since it highlights the group's cutesy, jokey side, which can be a little irritating. Still, Lost & Gone Forever is not only Guster's best-sounding record, it's among their most consistent, filled with some of their strongest, catchiest tunes. In other words, it's exactly what their major-label debut should have been. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released April 7, 1998 | Nettwerk Records

Bursting on to the sonic scene with the driving "Great Escape," Guster's major-label debut quickly mellows into the insightfully deceptive "Demon" and the island chock of "Perfect" before revving back up to the strikingly produced "Airport Song." Though the album has many high points, this first single is the highest. Drifting in like a distant storm, this cryptic offering erupts into a seething and impressively arranged explosion. Combining the trio's competent guitar, bass, and hand percussion with a variety of accents ranging from strings to screams (not to mention a Ping-Pong ball coda), "Airport" is a shut-up-and-crank-it song which grabs the listener by the ears and reveals itself further with each triumphant listening. Fortunately, the album does not give up after this early peak. Though many of the songs are ambiguous in terms of verse-chorus contiguity and overall meaning, the rich and simple vocal and instrumental layering is clear and effective. Combining peppy sways and dances like "Perfect" and "Grin" with wild antic raves such as "Bury Me" and the gentle closer "Rocketship," Goldfly leaves little doubt as to why the band continues to sell out venues in their New England home and beyond. ~ Matthew Robinson
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Rock - Released May 18, 2004 | Nettwerk Records

The reason why Guster have been able to sell records all these years is because they continue to sell out shows. Since their 1992 inception, Guster have maintained a loyal following, and by the time their fourth record, Keep It Together, was released in summer 2003, the band's live setting was still gaining momentum. Guster on Ice: Live From Portland Maine captures their undeniable playfulness and everlasting spirit. This CD/DVD set is Guster's first ever live album and it's a crispy clear arrangement. There once were three -- Ryan Miller, Adam Gardner, and Brian Rosenworcel -- and now there are four. Fans should be used to multi-instrumentalist Joe Pisapia's place among the Guster gang by now. His work on banjo, bass, and keyboards fleshes out Guster's usual sound of earnest harmonies, acoustic guitars, and their signature bum rush of percussion, especially in a live setting. Fan favorites such as "Barrel of a Gun," "Happier," and "Fa Fa" are included here as well as the band's cover of Talking Heads' "(Nothing But) Flowers." That set list alone is soaked in Guster goodness, for their energy never stops. "Amsterdam," the band's radio hit from Keep It Together, is proof that honest songwriting and the love of performing for an audience has to be real. Guster never let up on their intoxicating groove of rock & roll. Even the more moody tracks such as the classic acoustic guitar storm, and in this case electric thunder, "Airport Song" and the near seven-minute somber build up of "Come Downstairs and Say Hello" are equally full of feeling. As much as they are funny and endearing, Guster's rare sensitivity allows their work to come full circle. Guster on Ice: Live From Portland gives fans the chance to celebrate that. The DVD alone is worthy of applause. Extra live cuts such as "What You Wish" and the Pisapia-penned track "Jesus on the Radio" are nicely woven in during the concert portion. Videos for "Careful" and "Amsterdam" and special behind-the-scenes snippets exhibit how accessible Guster are. You'll want to bring them home to Mom. ~ MacKenzie Wilson
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 28, 2017 | Nettwerk Records

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Rock - Released June 1, 2004 | Nettwerk Records

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Rock - Released April 3, 2007 | Nettwerk Records

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Rock - Released March 5, 2017 | Nettwerk Records

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Rock - Released March 5, 2017 | Nettwerk Records

Rock - Released November 16, 2004 | Nettwerk Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 14, 2018 | Nettwerk Records

Alternative & Indie - Released March 28, 2017 | Nettwerk Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 28, 2017 | Nettwerk Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 28, 2017 | Nettwerk Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 31, 2018 | Nettwerk Records

The East Coast alt rock institution's eighth full-length effort, Look Alive commences with its titular cut, an icy synth pop brooder that sounds considerably removed, stylistically, from the band's college rock/jangle pop past. Guster's transition from quirky hand percussion-led folk-pop trio to soaring modern rock mainstays began almost two decades ago, but 2015's Evermotion saw the group adding a bit of electro-pop to their arsenal, a predilection they lean even harder into this time around. Produced with a punch by Leo Abrahams (Regina Spektor, Brian Eno/David Byrne, Belle and Sebastian), the nine-track set was recorded in a vintage Calgary keyboard museum -- a 1980s Ensoniq Mirage synth plays a leading role in the proceedings. As hook-heavy and immediate as the title cut is, it's outdone by the jubilant follow-up "Don't Go," which ticks off all of the Guster talking points (soaring melody, affable delivery, and quirky lyrics) while staying true to the group's new voltaic direction. Elsewhere, the proggy "Hello Mr. Sun," with its Vaudeville flourishes and singsong refrain that invokes Dark Side of the Moon's "Brain Damage" via Foster the People, is the outlier, but it pairs well with the breezy AM Pop of "Summertime," the buzzsaw stadium jam "Hard Times," and the near-perfect sugar blast that is "Terrified." At nine songs, Look Alive never wears out its welcome, and its commitment to sonic versatility, no matter how nostalgia-driven, helps temper some of its more forgettable moments. In evoking the '80s synth pop of their youth, Guster have unearthed a small gem that gives off a familiar, yet undeniably dazzling shine. ~ James Christopher Monger

Alternative & Indie - Released July 10, 2015 | Nettwerk Records

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